The educational history of Gyumri city is more than speaking. Shirak region was always center for logical thinking and creativity. One can write long texts about the institutions who created a whole history of education in Gyumri.
During Soviet times higher education institutions were founded, including Gyumri State Pedagogical institute and Gyumri branch of Armenian State Engineering University. In 1984 50 secondary schools were functioning in the city with 35 thousand pupils. After the disastrous earthquake 41 schools are now functioning with 20 thousand pupils (2008 year data).
The technical education was always the part of Gyumri development as a large industrial center. iTechnology.am brought you pieces of two great institutions in Gyumri, which provide technical specialists, programmers and IT professionals.
Half a century ago in 1959 Armenian State Engineering University opens its branch in Leninakan. In 1980s the institution has 3200 students. The Gyumri branch was the only place in Armenia, where technical specialists were educated to work in different areas of light industry. The times has changed. The radical change in industrial life of the city has changed a lot in education itself. Today the most popular profession is programming.
Staying loyal to its position of a leader in this institution first time in Gyumri was opened a department for programming in 1998.
The polytechnic, as Gyumri people are used to call it, has become a unique trait of Gyumri city, reminding everybody the region’s natural predisposition towards technical sciences.
ASEU Gyumri branch is now located in a small building. The large and comfortable buildings were ruined during the earthquake, but the inconvenience is never a limit for this institution. The branch continues its path providing highly specialized professionals.
The other institution providing IT education is Gyumri Information Technology Center (GITC). The center was one of the first seeds of technology field development in Gyumri, which was founded by Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR), Shirak Technologies and Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF). The idea of founding IT center in Gyumri belongs to Patrick Sarkissian, one of FAR donors, who visited Gyumri in 2005 as a disaster zone. As Amalya Eghoyan, GITC Executive Director tells, on the last day of his visit Mr. Sarkissian has one idea in his mind: develop technologies in Gyumri.
In the first year of its functioning GITC offers only one course, hardware engineering. The center offered free education with one precondition for students: they should stay in Gyumri and work in the companies, which will be opened due to technical professionals educated by GITC: “We had some certain rules and conditions: our students should have a bachelor or an adequate degree, they should pass exams in mathematics, physics and dialectics and we accept those who want to stay and work in Gyumri. Our students signed a contract which was a mutual agreement that we were offering jobs and they were staying in the city”, says Amalya Eghoyan.
According to Bagrat Engibaryan, EIF director, GITC was the first experiment to start developing IT sector in Gyumri: “GITC was one of the first seeds and it has a great role in IT field development in Gyumri. It is not only education provider, but it is an incubator for startups and beginner developers. GITC success positively influenced the process of founding technopark in Gyumri “, adds Mr. Engibaryan.
GITC started with only one classroom and couple of computers. It was all the resources the center had at the beginning. Now GITC offers real and productive opportunities for those people who want get involved in IT and make a difference.
The number of the students is growing year by year. The center also creates new departments according to the demand in the market. Such examples are web and mobile technology departments. The role of GITC is certain: continue moving on and providing qualified professionals for Technopark companies and other organizations coming to Gyumri.
Kumayri-Gyumri staying loyal to its traditions is an educational center. Education-work-decent life: the circle is closed here and there is no need to leave the city to draw any part of the circle.